How to Create the Best Resume Format?


Many recruiters use applicant tracking systems to weed out applications, which can get hung up on unusual formatting choices. Stick to a consistent style throughout the document.

Consider using bulleted lists for your work experience section to keep it concise and focused on action verbs that best showcase your skills. Avoid including soft skills or generalizations in this section.

1. Reverse Chronological

This resume format focuses on your work experience, listing your jobs in reverse chronological order. This is the most common and traditional type of resume.

It is a good choice for job seekers with an established career path and who want to emphasize their field progression. It also works well for those with minimal gaps in employment. If you’re changing careers or have a long gap in your work history, another resume format might suit you.

Ensure your work experience section is ATS-friendly by removing excessive details and using relevant keywords for the role you’re applying to. Recruiters use ATS to assess candidate suitability, so you don’t want your resume to get rejected by an applicant tracking system.

2. Functional

Sometimes referred to as a skills-based resume, this format places greater emphasis on your professional abilities rather than the chronology of your work experience. It is an excellent choice for career changers, those with gaps in their employment history, and those with highly developed skills that can be easily transferred to a new role.

The format begins with a short professional summary and an extensive skills section emphasizing quantified competencies and relevant industry keywords. Then comes a brief list of your past positions in reverse chronological order, omitting dates and titles unless they are directly relevant to the job for which you are applying.

The education section contains degrees, diplomas, and certifications relevant to the position you are applying for. Similarly, the work experience section includes volunteer work, freelancing, and community involvement positions directly relevant to the job you’re applying for. This allows you to make a strong case that your skills outweigh the negative aspects of your professional experience.

3. Combination

The combination resume format highlights your work history and skills in reverse chronological order. This resume style is ideal for jobseekers and those with a specialized skill set who want to change careers. It is also a good choice for senior-level professionals with steady career tracks.

The first section of this type of resume is called the qualifications summary, professional summary, or skills summary. You should include a short list of your most relevant skills here and quantify them where possible. Then, follow that with a reverse chronological work experience section.

The benefit of this format for career changers is that the skills summary section prioritizes your transferable skills and allows you to fill in gaps caused by a job hopping or industry switch. However, the downside of this style is that it can result in a longer document with repetition in the skills section. Moreover, the experience section may include similar duties; not all will apply to your new position.

4. Hybrid

As the name suggests, the hybrid resume format combines the best features of both functional and chronological formats. It displays your work experience while also prominently highlighting your skills. It’s ideal for job seekers who want to highlight their work history but prefer to emphasize their transferable skills. It’s also an excellent choice for people making a career change or with significant employment gaps.

Remember, ATS systems may be unable to read formatting choices (such as fancy fonts) confidently. Sticking with standard formats will help your resume pass the ATS test.

A hybrid resume starts with a qualification summary section, followed by your work experience. Then you list the essential skills that make you a perfect fit for the role. This makes it easy for employers to identify the most valuable skills immediately. It also allows you to highlight any relevant certifications and courses. This is an excellent option if you’re applying for a senior position.


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Founded in 1994 by the late Pamela Hulse Andrews, Cascade Business News (CBN) became Central Oregon’s premier business publication. •

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